‘Human Connection! It’s Beautiful’

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‘A story from the coffeeshop days that I miss’

It was 3:35 in the afternoon, at a busy Third Wave coffee shop, where jolly happy coffee lovers waited inline. Some smiling. Some -those serious espresso cravers- looked through their under-caffeinated eyes, trying to hide their impatience and pretending they are calm ‘too’ and ‘quite understanding’ of how the perfect shot of espresso needed to be, properly dosed, perfectly tamped and skilfully put through the machine that was making its familiar glorious clicking sound. They all waited, all watching the golden caramel shot of espresso pours through into the little espresso cup placed underneath.
One of the baristas behind the counter exchanges a welcoming gesture with the customers who were lining up. Her eyes suddenly stops at a new friendly face. A new customer in her early thirties. A face whom she has not seen at the shop before, and as she blurts a casual friendly comment ‘cool necklace’, and before she could bring her eyes back to watch the milk pitcher in her hand while frothing foam for the next drink, she catches a sudden shadowy dark glare in her new customer’s eyes, that she could not quickly ignore. She taps her milk pitcher on the counter a couple of times, to settle in the bubbles forming in the foam! She looks at the new customer again, only to find tears starting to form in those previously smiling eyes! Again, she feels she cannot just ignore what she had noticed and feels rather compelled to acknowledge it and make sure the new customer is feeling ok!
While trying to not have her voice heard to the the rest of the buzzing crowd, and taking advantage of her close proximity to the tearful face across her roaring espresso machine, she asks “is everything alright?”…A pause followed, and the woman -now facing her as she moved closer- responds “sorry! just a sad memory associated with my necklace!”.
At that point, the tears on the woman’s face were starting to come down. The woman looked embarrassed at her reaction, and the barista made a split second decision to desert her bar, ask another barista to take over and walked around the counter towards the woman and quietly gave her a hug! The woman, to more of her surprise, buried her face in her shoulder like one would do with an old friend, as if…to hide. They hugged quietly until the woman was able to compose herself and forced a smile. The barista feeling concerned but acting rather calm and encouraging, looked into the woman’s eyes and said “you ok?”. The woman nervously shrugged and said “thank you for saving me from sobbing in public!”. Then she pointed at her necklace and said quietly “this is a twin necklace to a one that my best friend was wearing when her and I were skiing over a year ago! There was an avalanche! She died! I survived!”. The barista trying to hide a horrified look, gave encouraging words “I am so sorry to hear that! Sorry about the sad reminder!”. The woman smiled sadly again and responded “I am a firefighter! ….I usually know how to stay composed :)! However, thank you for letting me grief without making a fool of myself! That thankfully does not happen often. I don’t easily break down and cry!”.

Form that day on, Jen who became a regular, would come regularly, order her latte and smile at the barista behind the counter! And a new friendship started.

“I used to be the owner of that little coffeeshop…’True Story’.



I moved to a beautiful place less than a year ago! I am surrounded by tall trees. I can see the creek from my kitchen window. My house is ‘different’ and still doesn’t feel like ..home. I gave up on the idea of sharing my thoughts with people that have been to my new home! It is hard for anyone -as I quickly realized-to see beyond the beauty all around! And I have come to understand that fact, and cannot blame them for falling in love with what they see when they first come here, after all… I fell in love with it when I first saw it too… hence, here I am almost a year later, yet still trying to adjust.

Life is really funny! We dream, we get or don’t, but sometimes…when we do get, we discover, even dreams coming true need adjustment!

Moving from the city when you lived there all your life, is definitely a big change!
You quickly learn things about yourself. Things like, your idea of heavenly solitude, away from society and people, away from the noise, away from the busyness of life, was, a little bit naïve, ironically idealistic and dreamy at the same time! You have thought of yourself as ‘an introvert’. You sold your house in the city and moved 40 minutes away to an oasis in the middle of nature!  Q….U…I…E…T!   The dog is snoring away happily, you? staring at her wondering ‘is she dreaming about those off leash dog walks her and I used to take everyday in the city?!… Or is she happier here with no companions except I!  No car rides, just watching the random squirrel jumping in the forest through the glass door and ‘testing’ her doggy voice with an attempt at a confused bark every now and then?’

I make my first morning french press…and a smile emerges :)…

No doubt I am still adjusting to no humans around in a quiet house surrounded by trees and a creek versus concrete buildings and urban structures, but…I am going to make the best of it one way or another…I am going to create ‘life’ one way or another right here…I am not a farmer, in fact, I have no idea how to grow a basil plant! On top of that, I missed my first season of actually growing anything this year, and fall is here! But, there is always next year, next season and a new … chance. And if that doesn’t work, I will figure something else out.

-Cheers to coffee and life-